MON AM News: State’s golf industry poised for bright future; “Talking Trade” compares Trump’s USMCA with NAFTA pact

— Despite a pandemic that continues to plague the economy, Wisconsin’s golf industry is poised for a bright future after the summer brought a big jump in rounds played.

This summer, golf has seen a resurgence nationwide after having a stable participation base for the past six years, according to the National Golf Foundation. Rounds of golf have been up year-over-year in every state in the continental U.S. for the past three months. For 2020, the total number of Wisconsin rounds were up almost 13 percent entering September, outpacing the national average, which is currently up 6.2 percent on the year.

In Wisconsin, play has rebounded significantly since courses were permitted to reopen in late April, according to Erik Matuszewski, editorial director of the National Golf Foundation. 

In April, rounds were down more than 48 percent compared to April 2019. But they’ve increased a lot the past four months. May saw an increase of 17 percent year-over-year, June had a 13.5 percent increase, July’s rounds increased by 12.4 percent, and August saw an increase of 23.4 percent over the same time last year. 

Jeremy Cabalka, general manager of municipal-owned Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton said the course has certainly noticed the increase in rounds played — “no question about that.”

“Golf is, I would argue, almost the definition of social distancing,” Cabalka said. “You don’t have to touch anybody else’s equipment, you don’t have to touch the flag sticks, you don’t have to touch really anything but your own property.”

Read the full story at 

— With Election Day 2020 a few weeks away, “Talking Trade’’ hosts Prof. Ian Coxhead, and M.E. Dey & Co. President Sandy Siegel compare President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with the NAFTA pact it replaced.

The video podcast explores trade issues affecting Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See the show, supported by the Center for East Asian Studies at UW-Madison:

A bonus “Talking Trade” segment features’s Jeff Mayers and Shanghai trade specialist Kelvin Ma, who got his law degree at UW-Madison, discussing how the Chinese business community views U.S. tech bans and the trade war.

See this special edition of the show:

— The final round of voting is underway for the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin’’ contest put on by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Johnson Financial Group.

The four finalists competing for the popular vote are:

–No. 3 seed Neenah’s Kimberly-Clark’s nano preemie diapers;

–No. 5 seed Stoughton’s C.C. Moo LLC’s adaptive clothing;

–No. 7 seed South Milwaukee’s Caterpillar Global Mining’s electric rope shovel;

–and No. 16 seed Mequon’s MuL Technologies’ mobile autonomous robotic cart. 

The winner will be announced at the virtual WMC Foundation Made in Wisconsin Luncheon on Wednesday. 

To cast a ballot by Wednesday at 10 a.m., visit:

— From health care to manufacturing, from technology to hospitality, a robust group of the state’s leading advocacy organizations have launched a new coalition to combat the COVID-19 crisis. 

“Stop the COVID Spread!” is a coalition of more than 20 of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business and advocacy organizations. The groups joined together in a campaign to educate the public about the seriousness of the pandemic and the critical need for preventative measures including social distancing, hand washing and the use of protective masks. 

“As Wisconsin faces a surge of COVID-19 infections, we are also seeing a surge in hospitalizations and other related effects that are straining hospital capacity and other resources,” said Eric Borgerding, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. 

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 hospitalizations number 889, up from 304 one month ago, according to the WHA’s coronavirus data dashboard. The state has 235 COVID-19 patients in intensive care — a new record that continues to climb.

“Applying preventative measures is absolutely crucial to curbing the spread of this virus and its impacts on our state,” Borgerding said. “We are urging the public to please take the virus seriously and double down on all of these measures to help control the pandemic.” 

The new coalition builds on previous statewide efforts to educate Wisconsinites about the public health crisis. It will include a new public service announcement on broadcast channels statewide, as well as a digital advertising campaign. 

The campaigns will urge Wisconsinites to take preventative measures seriously in order to keep the state’s health care system stable and accessible, protect the health and safety of workers and prevent further shutdown of Wisconsin businesses and economic functions. 

See the coalition members here: 

— Wisconsin reported 2,676 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The seven-day average is now at 2,510, almost double that of a month ago.

Yesterday’s confirmed cases were out of 10,247 people tested. The seven-day average of new confirmed cases per total people tested is at 18.6 percent, up from 12.8 percent a month ago. In terms of total tests collected, the average positive test percentage is at 9.8 percent, up from 7.2 percent last month. 

The state reports 150,236 cumulative COVID-19 cases with 119,747 of those people recovered. The death rate for Wisconsin residents who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 is at 1 percent. 

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— The state also reported 25 new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, bringing the state’s toll to 1,465.

Black Wisconsinites account for 16 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the state. However, Black residents make up under 7 percent of Wisconsin’s population.

“COVID-19 deaths in particular disproportionately affect people and communities of color,” said Dr. John Raymond, president of the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Hispanics or Latinos make up about 7 percent of the state’s population, but account for 11 percent of deaths. 

But Raymond noted in a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce briefing last week that COVID-19 can be fatal for anyone. White residents make up 76 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths. 

“This is a particular important consideration as COVID-19 is spread out into rural areas,” he said. 

Racine County has reached 100 deaths. Milwaukee County leads the state’s count with 549 reported deaths.

Counties reporting deaths in the double digits include: Waukesha (97), Brown (75), Kenosha (68), Dane (43), Winnebago (42), Outagamie (37), Washington (37), Rock (36), Walworth (36), Marathon (30), Waupaca (23), Ozaukee (21), Sheboygan (20), Dodge (19), Grant (19), Fond du Lac (15), Portage (14) and La Crosse (10).

Eight counties in Wisconsin haven’t reported any COVID-19 deaths: Chippewa, Crawford, Douglas, Iowa, Lafayette, Menominee, Pepin and Price.

— The Department of Workforce Development is encouraging Wisconsin employers to participate in the state’s work-share program to avoid worker layoffs.

The program, also called “short-term compensation,” allows employers to reduce work hours across a work unit instead of laying off workers. 

Workers whose hours are uniformly reduced under an approved work-share plan receive unemployment benefits that are pro-rated for the partial work reduction. This allows everyone in the work unit to maintain some income and their health benefits. By participating in the program, employers will be able to retain their trained staff during the times of reduced business activity.

Since March 15, DWD has approved 879 work-share plans covering nearly 33,000 participants.

For more information on program requirements, visit:

— Gov. Tony Evers says that stopping the spread of coronavirus is an individual responsibility as the statewide order limiting indoor capacity to 25 percent is in effect.

The order, which began Thursday morning, places new restrictions on bars, restaurants and other private businesses. It applies to any gathering at locations open to the public, including ticketed events. It doesn’t impact schools or workplaces that are only accessible by employees or authorized personnel.

“Clearly, community spread happens not just in retail outlets, and lots of it happens in situations where people are inviting lots of people into their home, sometimes not knowing the health status of those folks,” Evers said in a health briefing on Wednesday. “All of this is around individual responsibility, every single piece of it, whether it’s related to our order or related to people’s behavior in their homes and any place in between.”

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce have charged the governor with putting businesses at risk with the capacity limitations despite the safety precautions that businesses have implemented.

“I just feel like there could be some more communication between private business and public decisions,” said Tom Anderson, owner of Buck and Honey’s restaurants in Monona and Sun Prairie. “I don’t feel like they’ve reached out to the business community enough.”

Even before the governor’s “Safer at Home” order, Buck and Honey’s decided to close, and before the statewide mask mandate, the restaurant required masks because “it was the right thing to do,” Anderson said. 

Buck and Honey’s had sanitation stations around the restaurant, held hand washing training, and had employees wear and frequently change gloves. The restaurant invested in social distancing stickers and seated guests six feet apart while still working to make the dine-in experience feel normal. 

“We feel like our job, whatever small part we can do in this, is let people have a safe place to come to to get away from the world,” Anderson said. 

He had a company come in with five large ultraviolet lights and blast every touchable surface, killing any viruses, bacteria or fungi. Then, it was followed up with a food safe antimicrobial spray that kills any virus for up to 90 days. The UV technology and spray are popular in hospitals, laundromats and hotels, he explained. Anderson had the treatment done three times in both Buck and Honey’s locations. 

“We take these extreme steps to keep our staff safe and to keep our guests safe. We’re working so hard to keep it safe that you would think that it’s safer than maybe gathering at somebody’s home or someplace else where these guidelines and standards aren’t being met,” he said. “That’s the frustrating part about maybe the message that’s out there because I believe it’s a very safe place because of all these different things that we do.”

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, the state’s chief medical officer, said that the strongest scientific justification for the capacity limitation order is that the virus travels between people who are in close proximity. 

“That density of people in an indoor space, particularly an indoor space that may not have great ventilation, is going to be the environment in which transmission occurs the most easily,” he said. “Worldwide, not just in Wisconsin, we’ve seen superspreader events that tend to be located in these indoor environments with potentially limited ventilation.”

Westergaard said limiting the density of people in an enclosed space is a key to preventing the spread of coronavirus and is a “principle of infection control for respiratory viruses.”

“I don’t know how they’re going to make it,” Anderson said of restaurants, bars, event spaces and music venues. “My heart goes out to smaller restaurants that don’t have the space, the capacity to be able to spread out.” 

The order will last for four weeks, with the end date set for Nov. 6. It was meant to last for two incubation periods of the novel coronavirus — two weeks each.

“It’s not forever, it’s temporary, and it’s not closing anything,” Evers said. “They still have 25 percent capacity to work with. That said, of course I understand how important it is, and that’s why we allocated $50 million … to WEDC for small businesses. I’m very hopeful that those restaurants and bars that are in this situation are applying for that money as we speak.” 

Anderson said that it’s great to have options for the hospitality industry, which has been hit hard by the global pandemic. 

“We’ll look into those, if they’re available and they make sense for us then yes, we would apply,” he said. “Our industry is pretty resilient … but I can’t stress enough about how hard this is. I think we have a very difficult winter coming ahead of us. Any assistance that can be done from the federal government to the state is going to be helpful for a lot of small restaurants and bars. It’s tough, every day is tough.” 


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– USDA lowers corn, soybean production estimates 

– Dairy Margin Coverage Program Enrollment Opens October 13 

– Sonny Perdue fears lack of consumer communication will constrain agriculture 


– UW System Approves $212M Plan To Standardize Campus Administrative Functions By 2026 

– Critics Of Wausau Schools Plan Say Hmong Community Was Excluded 


– Two State Natural Areas Reopen 


– More Than 14K UW System Students Sought Mental Health Counseling Last School Year 


– 28 People Arrested In Wauwatosa Protest Friday 

– Extradition Fight Continues For Kyle Rittenhouse In Kenosha Protest Shootings 


– Janesville manufacturer plans to expand into New Mexico 


– Yelp says it will mark pages of businesses accused of racist conduct 

– ProPublica boosting Wisconsin coverage in Midwest hub expansion 


– Wisconsin Election Infrastructure Is Mostly Secure — But Inaccurate Counts Are Hard To Catch And Correct 


– Five Wisconsin companies selected to sell products at Walmart stores, e-commerce sites 


– Ring-Necked Pheasant Season Opens Oct. 17 


– Historic Wells Building greets its future as growing data center 


– Why the Wisconsin tourism agency is using its website to inform applicants about $100M in new Covid-19 grants 


– Amazon expands its presence in southeastern Wisconsin 

– Facing tight budgets, Milwaukee aldermen float suspension of streetcar service in 2021 


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